I’m writing this as I roll through the Pacific Northwest via Amtrak! Trainternet is pretty sweet, guys. Welcome to the future.


It's not all fog. Some of it's the really dirty window.

The trees are swathed in fog, leaving only the water bare, boats drifting through. I was hoping to catch a glimpse of Rainier and Mt. St. Helens, but no dice. The view is still beautiful–water pooled at the feet of moss-covered trees, ferns unfurling from every possible surface, the grass a lush green-yellow carpet as it rolls through forest and farm.

I got into Seattle last Thursday night and went out for Thai food with Kevin a few blocks from where he lives, and hit Sugar Bakery the next morning for some wonderful pastries and coffee. In fact, we spent most of Friday dealing with food while I looked out every available window with my eyes practically pressed up to the glass–got groceries to make dinner/breakfast for the weekend, ate dinner at boom noodle (delicious miso ramen), got frozen custard from Old School, met up with Kevin’s friend James at Barça, and stumbled off for hot dogs at Po Dog (which may explain this to some of you).

Right next to the useless but cool monorail!

Saturday, Kevin suggested Top Pot Donuts on our way to Volunteer Park. The conservatory there, although small, was a real treat, and the admission was free.

You know, just a cute building full of plants.


Outside the SAAM.

By surprise we got into the Seattle Asian Art Museum for free as well, since it was the first Saturday of the month. We spent a few hours scoping out the primarily Japanese portion of the museum and the collection was quite inspiring–I love prints and print art, and there is so much, especially among the museum’s selection of contemporary Japanese work. On our way home, we stopped to check out Elliott Bay Books–I wish there were more bookstores like this, with a wide selection and a competent staff who provide ample recommendations posted throughout the store. That night we made portobello pasta and Allison’s tomato salad for Alex, Jen, and James before loling our way through some Rifftrax and calling it a night.

Sunday was breakfast-stravaganza–pancakes, hash and mimosas, which gave us leftovers for this morning before I left for Portland. Later in the day we headed out for the International District

A lovely night for a walk.

…where we were pulled by an excitable eight-year-old into his home-school art project installation. We drifted through a florist with some awesome potted plants similar to the ones we’d seen the day before at the conservatory and accidentally walked into a tea-tasting at Seattle Best Tea.

It really was Seattle's best. Wonderful people.

One of the owners was sitting with a friend and chatting while steeping a tea several times rapidly, and we ended up sitting there for a good half an hour talking with the two of them while smelling a variety of teas and trying some. I would highly, highly recommend this place to anyone in the area–the hospitality we were shown (and friendly questions about our lives and whether we would be around for the lunar new year celebration) has easily been one of the highlights of my trip. Kevin took me through Uwajimaya, which is clustered with an East Asian bookstore and apartments and even a food court, the kind of place you never leave if you live there. I unexpectedly found Sanjay Patel’s most recent books (Divine Loophole and The Big Poster Book of Hindu Deities), which I’ll be lugging home with me. A grad school colleague of mine accidentally gave us the wrong venue information for one of his stand-up shows that night, so instead we ended up at the Hideout and watched what was easily the best karaoke of my life (and by best, I mean seriously fantastic voices at this bar).

That puts me where I’m at now. See you in Portland!


About Chelsea
I'm currently pursuing my MFA in Writing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. My ideal career path involves using writing, publication, and writing education to enact progressive social change.

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